Exclusives

deepwater, oil, West Africa, production, project, Douglas Westwood, FPSO, Total, Eni, Tullow Oil

But offshore activity is robust today for some companies nearing startup for projects sanctioned before the downturn.

Tullow Oil, Kenya, discovery, oil, Kerio Valley, basin, exploration, Cheptuket, South Lokichar

The discovery could signal another basin opening in East Africa. The Cheptuket-1 well was the first to test oil potential in the Kerio Valley Basin.

Zohr, Eni, Egygpt, offshore, natural gas, Nooros, discovery, appraisal

Eni’s continued exploration success in Egypt comes amid a downturn that has caused some companies to reduce exploration spending.

Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, oil, gas, production, LNG, King & Spalding, Wood Mackenzie, Martin Kelly

Despite low commodity prices and falling budgets, prospects for oil and gas discoveries continue to intrigue in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Kosmos Energy, offshore, gas, Senegal, Mauritania, Guembeul, Tortue, Cairn

The latest find boosts Kosmos’ gross resource estimate for the Greater Tortue Complex to 17 trillion cubic feet, adding to the region’s potential.

Deepwater International

Anadarko Petroleum has decided to terminate its charter of the Dolphin Drilling drillship Belford Dolphin in September this year, with the unit currently working for the operator off east Africa’s Mozambique.

The battle to win the contract to design and build a world-class FLNG unit to be used by Eni and its partners on a mega-gas project offshore Mozambique is coming to the boil.

Various subsea equipment will be delivered throughout 2015 and 2016.

UK independent Sterling Energy has had the exploration period for two frontier blocks northwest of Madagascar extended.

The contract is for a firm charter period of 15 years with five yearly extension options exercisable by the client. 

Exploration

Shell has been operating in the west African country for more than 50 years. Its holdings include the Rabi Kounga and Gamba fields, Reuters reported.

Egypt plans to launch a new oil exploration round next week, offering 11 blocks in the Western desert and the Gulf of Suez, Petroleum Minister Tarek al-Molla said April 19.

While targeting the Bellatrix exploration prospect and appraising the northern extent of the SNE field discovered in 2014, the BEL-1 well encountered two good quality gas-bearing sand reservoirs of a combined net thickness of 8 m between the Bellatrix main objective and deeper SNE appraisal objective, Cairn said in a news release.

The survey, expected to last six months, will cover roughly 12,800 sq km in exploration blocks 6, 11 and 12 off the coast of the former Portuguese colony, said Orlando Sousa Pontes, director of the petroleum agency.

As part of the agreement, Eni will become operator and get a 40% stake of the license as well as exploration rights across a 10,780-sq-km area, with a water depth ranging from 150 m to 3,500 m, the release said.

Production

Zohr, discovered by Eni last year, has an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas. It is expected to plug Egypt’s acute energy shortages and save it billions of dollars in precious hard currency that would otherwise be spent on imports.

A damaged turret bearing means a scheduled maintenance shutdown will take another two weeks and production flows will take even more time to ramp-up, Tullow said.

KN-1 represents contingent resources (2C) of gross 28 billion cubic feet gross. With first production complete Aminex expects to book reserves for Kiliwani North later this year, the company said.

Cairn Energy Plc said on March 15 that it added 20% to its resource estimate for its oil field off the coast of Senegal.

Cairn Energy said its 2C resource estimate, or its best estimate of contingent resources, at the SNE Field had increased to 385 million barrels of oil after positive drilling results.

The final well integrity testing of the Kiliwani North-1 well (KN-1) offshore Tanzania has ended, recording a high tubing pressure reading compared to other producing wells on Songo Songo Island, Aminex said in a news release.

Subsea Engineering

Kosmos Energy said its Ahmeyim-2 appraisal well has successfully delineated the Ahmeyim and Guembeul gas discoveries offshore Mauritania and Senegal, paving the way for an LNG project in the region.

Eni can move to the next stage of its development of the Coral discovery in Area 4 offshore Mozambique after the plan of development was approved by the country’s government.

Anadarko and its partners in Area 1 and Area 4 in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique have signed an unitisation deal for the two blocks to bring development closer.

Engineering and management services company Penspen will be revisiting work it carried out more than 20 years ago after winning an engineering study for the development of a field in the Niger Delta offshore Southern Nigeria.

Statoil is training its sights on eastern and southern Africa as it looks to develop its global exploration portfolio and has taken stakes in blocks off Mozambique and South Africa.

Technology

Sonangol said that Block 20, which it operates, is also commercially viable and contains an estimated 139 MMbbl of condensate and 2.5 Tcf of gas, totalling 570 MMboe, Reuters said. 

Statoil said in a statement that the In Salah gas facility was hit by explosive munitions from a distance.

The Giza/Fayoum Field will be tied-back to modified onshore Rosetta facilities and integrated with a new onshore plant for the Raven Field offshore Egypt.

This contract covers services for the existing Girassol, Pazflor, Dalia and CLOV FPSO units and associated subsea field development. These FPSOs are located in Block 17 offshore Angola, a news release said.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. will contain upstream, downstream, gas power marketing, refinery groups and ventures divisions. Previously, the minister of state for petroleum said NNPC would be split into 30 independent companies, Reuters said.